Does the IP address of your site’s server affect your rankings in search results page? According to some sources around the internet, your IP address is a ranking signal used by Google.
But does your IP address have the possible to help or hurt your rankings in search? Continue reading to find out whether IP addresses are a Google ranking aspect.
The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Element
Articles on the web from trustworthy marketing sites claim that Google has more than 200 “known” ranking elements.
These lists typically include statements about flagged IP addresses affecting rankings or higher-value links due to the fact that they are from different C-class IP addresses.
Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Thankfully, these lists triggered numerous conversations with Google employees about the validity of IP addresses as ranking consider Google’s algorithm.
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The Proof Against IP Address As A Ranking Factor
In 2010, Matt Cutts, previous head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a customer’s website would be affected by spammy sites on the same server.
“On the list of things that I stress over, that would not be near the top. So I comprehend, and Google comprehends that shared web hosting occurs. You can’t actually manage who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”
Ultimately, Google chose if they acted on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would just transfer to another IP address. For that reason, it wouldn’t be the most effective method to take on the problem.
Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam websites and one non-spammy website that welcomed more scrutiny but restated that this was an extraordinary outlier.
In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another previous member of Google’s webspam group, noted that Google can take action when complimentary hosts have actually been massively spammed.
In 2016, throughout a Google Web Designer Headquarters Hours, John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s sites on the exact same c block of IP addresses was a problem.
He responded to:
“No, that’s completely fine. So that’s not something where you artificially require to purchase IP address obstructs to just shuffle things around.
And specifically if you are on a CDN, then maybe you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s utilized by other business. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things occur. That’s not something you require to artificially move around.”
In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a different geo-location would affect SEO. He reacted:
“If you move to a server in a different area? Normally not. We get enough geotargeting information otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Search Console.”
A couple of months later on, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad areas as a ranking signal and if a dedicated IP was necessary.
“Shared IP addresses are great for search! Lots of hosting/ CDN environments use them.”
In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address place mattered for a website’s rankings. His response was simply, “Nope.”
A few tweets later, within the very same Buy Twitter Verified thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered relating to backlinks. Mueller once again responded with a basic “Nope.”
In June 2019, Mueller received a question about Google Browse Console showing a site’s IP address instead of a domain. His answer:
“Typically, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad concept. IP addresses are typically short-lived.”
He suggested that the user ensure the IP address reroutes to their domain.
A couple of months later on, when asked if links from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:
“Links from IP addresses are definitely fine. The majority of the time, it means the server wasn’t established well (we canonicalized to the IP address instead of the hostname, easy to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), but that’s simply a technical information. It doesn’t suggest they’re bad.”
In early 2020, when inquired about getting links from various IP addresses, Mueller said that the bad part was the user was making the backlinks themselves– not the IP addresses.
Then, in June, Mueller was asked what happens if a website on an IP address bought links. Would there be an IP-level action taken?
“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is actually typical. Having some bad sites on an IP doesn’t make whatever on that IP bad.”
In September, throughout a conversation about bad communities affecting search rankings, Mueller specified:
“I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blog writer. There are excellent websites that do well (ignoring on-page restrictions, and so on), and there are awful sites hosted there. It’s all the same facilities, the same IP addresses.”
In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Joy at Google, shared an enjoyable reality.
“Enjoyable fact: altering a site’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you call it, can alter how fast and typically Googlebot crawls from said website. That’s because it actually discovers that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how quick and typically it can crawl.”
While it’s fascinating details, it seems to effect crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, obviously, required to rank, but crawling is not a ranking element.
In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if IP canonicalization could positively impact SEO. Meuller replied:
“Unless folks are connecting to your site’s IP address (which would be unanticipated), this would not have any effect on SEO.”
Later on in December, when asked if an IP address rather of a hostname looks uncommon when Google evaluates a link’s quality, Meuller stated, “Ip addresses are fine. The web has lots of them.”
If you’re stressed over your IP address or hosting company, the agreement appears to be: Don’t worry.
Get More Google Ranking Element Insights.
Our Verdict: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Factor Anymore
Possibly in the past, Google explore IP-level actions against spammy websites. But it needs to have discovered this inefficient because we are not seeing any confirmation from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods are a part of the algorithm.
For that reason, we can conclude for now that IP addresses are not a ranking aspect.
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